Does it feel like you’re growing apart from your spouse or partner? This guide will reveal 18 of the clearest telltale signs that this is happening, plus how to prevent it.
In my role as a life coach, I am often helping clients build stronger bonds with those closest to them.
That’s why I’m keen to share this guide with you.
So, let’s dive in.
What Does It Mean To Be Growing Apart?
It means you feel an emotional bond slowly disappearing. Perhaps the other person feels it too, perhaps not.
It’s hard to spot it due to its slow speed. Sometimes, one person doesn’t notice until it’s too late, much like the frog sat in a pan of boiling water.
The ultimate result (unless something is done to spark life back into the relationship) is that two people choose not to spend time together anymore.
Best friends can grow apart, as can lovers and even family members.
What Is Growing Apart In A Relationship?
When you grow apart from your partner, apathy creeps into the relationship.
It’s not quite the same as ‘the spark’ disappearing, as love, intimacy, intrigue and appreciation can still remain once the honeymoon period of a relationship is over.
Crucially, when two partners grow apart, their interest in each other wanes.
There isn’t a huge explosive fight that sparks this sad phenomenon. It’s the result of two partners growing tired of each other. Perhaps this happens because one refuses to amend their small annoying habits, or maybe both lovers stopped embodying the qualities which made them attractive in the first place.
Either way, because the process is so gradual, couples may stay in this apathetic relationship for a while before doing anything to fix the situation.
It’s rare that one is satisfied once they feel themselves growing apart from their partner. So, if you spot this happening in your relationship, it’s worth taking immediate steps to remedy the situation. That’s assuming you want your relationship to improve and last.
Related: How Long Is Too Long Without Sex In A Relationship?
How Do You Know If You’re Growing Apart?
1. You Don’t Spend Time Together
A lack of time in each other’s company is one of the most reliable causes of couples drifting apart. Even if you both live busy lives, it’s important to dedicate time to maintaining the well-being of your relationship.
Just like a plant that isn’t watered, relationships without regular communication and time spent together tend to wilt and die
If you’re not letting your partner know how you’re feeling about various elements of your life, this is a clear sign of emotional intimacy fading. Please realize that sharing your feelings is key to preserving a healthy relationship.
3. Your Sex Life Is Virtually Non-Existent
Are you not feeling as excited about having sex with your partner or spouse anymore? That’s one of the clearest relationship red flags.
Although a lack of sex can sometimes be due to physical problems, it’s typically a reliable barometer of how well a relationship is going. If you or your partner are regularly making excuses not to have sex, that’s another reliable sign that you may be drifting apart.
4. There Are No Other Forms Of Physical Intimacy
Physical intimacy isn’t just confined to bedroom passion. A lack of hugs, kisses, holding hands and general touchy-feely behavior can also be taken as a sign of growing distant from your partner.
Related: Intimacy Coach – 8 Facts Checklist
5. You See Disinterest In Their Body Language
Body language isn’t always easy to read, but if your partner regularly looks disinterested while you talk, that’s an early sign of a couple drifting apart.
6. You’d Rather Be At Work
If you find working more fun than spending time with your partner, that’s a bad sign. Either times are tough in your relationship or you may need to reassess what’s really important in your life. No-one dreams of a life where they’re spending more time at work than with their loved ones.
7. You’d Rather Spend Time Anywhere Else
This isn’t how a relationship or marriage is supposed to feel. If you’re at this point, make sure to read the next section of this guide on improving your relationship.
8. You’re Not Excited To Hear About Each Other’s Lives
Perhaps during the ‘honeymoon period’, a conversation about the seemingly monotonous parts of each other’s lives excited you, but now you no longer feel that excitement.
9. You’re Barely Paying Attention To Each Other
Is your communication lacking? Is there barely a glimpse of eye contact as you speak? Does it feel like you barely exist even when you’re telling them a story? Do they sometimes feel unheard too? If you two can’t remember a word of your conversations, that’s a clear sign that you’re not each other’s priority.
10. You No Longer Reach Out To Them For Support
If you don’t see your partner or spouse as the person to go to when you’re feeling down, it’s clear that your relationship or marriage isn’t what it once was.
Related: Turnaround Strategies When The Intimacy Stops In A Relationship
11. Differences Of Opinions Turn Into Arguments
Do you each have shorter fuses than before during moments of conflict? This is a symptom of couples getting sick of each other.
12. Your Goals Are Changing
When you’re both moving towards different life goals, it makes sense that you’ll begin to feel disconnected. This is a serious red flag for long-term relationships, so it’s worth having an immediate conversation to make sure you’re on the same page.
13. An Emotional Disconnect
When it feels like you have different priorities from your partner, you’ll feel a difference in your energies. You’ll be able to sense that you’re not on the same page even if they aren’t admitting it.
14. You No Longer Do Each Other Favors
When two people stop putting their partner first, that’s one of the clearer signs that they’re drifting apart emotionally.
15. You’re Looking For Validation Elsewhere
When a man or woman is truly in love, they don’t need romantic validation from anyone except their partner. If one of you begins to seek that validation, that’s a sign of troubles in your relationship.
16. The Trust Has Faded
Do you find yourself unable to trust your spouse or partner with personal secrets anymore? Do you struggle to rely on them to perform important tasks on your behalf, even though you used to delegate things to them all the time? This is another telltale sign of a fractured relationship.
17. You Feel Lonely
It’s possible to feel lonely, even if you’re surrounded by people. You can feel lonely even if you spend every day with your spouse or partner. Do you get that sense of loneliness? It comes when you sense that the people around you don’t understand you. This is one of the clearest signs that you’ve grown apart from your partner.
18. It’s Not A Phase
You’ll have ups and downs in your relationships. However, if you’ve been experiencing the signs in this guide for more than a couple of weeks, there’s every chance that you’ve already grown quite far apart. You’re certainly not in a healthy relationship at this point.
How To Fix Growing Apart In A Relationship
It can hurt to notice you’re growing apart from your partner in a relationship, but please take comfort in realizing that it’s possible to fix this situation.
The first step is to address your partner. Tell them that you feel this happening and you want to feel closer to them again. Don’t play the blame game. Focus on how much you love them – and how you’d like to strengthen the bond. Hopefully, they agree that it’s a great idea.
From there, see if you can generate ideas for how to improve the bond.
Are there things that each of you stopped doing that you’d like to reintroduce to the relationship? The small things like compliments, hugs, kisses, favors and other romantic gestures can go a long way.
Can you schedule some quality time to dedicate to enjoying together? A weekly date night is a nice idea, but the occasional romantic weekend away could be even better. If you can dedicate even half an hour per day to talking with your partner and listening to their thoughts, this can make a world of difference to your relationship.
These small gestures don’t require too much effort, but they’re how partners show continued affection. They’re the glue that allows healthy relationships to last the test of time. Don’t be surprised if the bigger issues like regular arguments or a lack of physical intimacy are naturally solved when these small gestures return.
If you or your partner resists these ideas – or the bigger problems in a relationship remain – there’s no harm in seeking professional help to get your relationship back on track. Marriage counselors and relationship coaches can provide some fantastic assistance when both partners are willing to work on the relationship.
They’ll provide a safe space for you to talk about the growing distance in your relationship – and act as a mediator to improve your communication and move you towards a desirable outcome. These are difficult conversations to have with your partner, but a marriage counsellor or family therapist will help to make you aware of your relationship problems and how to fix them.
Related: REAL Reasons Why Your Wife Avoids Intimacy + Solutions
Growing Apart In A Long Distance Relationship
It’s more likely that two people will grow apart and feel disconnected in a long-distance relationship, simply because they’re not spending time together for long periods.
The only real solution is to find a better way to stay connected, either digitally or by finding more time to spend in each other’s company.
This isn’t just about how often you talk though. It’s also worth exploring how you can add more emotional intimacy into your long-distance conversations.
Are you sharing as much as you can about your feelings towards your partner and how excited you are about reuniting? It’s important that you two have a reunion date that you can focus on, so each of you have something to look forward to.
Related: My Sexless Marriage Is Killing Me: 16 Solutions
Frequently Asked Questions
Growing Apart Meaning
Growing apart is a phrase to describe two people becoming more emotionally distant. Their feelings for each other are slowly fading.
Growing Apart Synonym
I’ve heard this situation described as “drifting apart” or “falling apart”. It’s also referred to as a relationship going stale.
Growing Apart Friends
When two friends or family members grow apart, it’s usually because one is making less effort to spend time with the other. As when you feel a partner growing apart from you, a great solution is to address the situation with your friend without blaming anyone
From there, make it clear that you don’t want your friendship to wither and die, then make plans to hang out and have fun together. If this friend or family member is as invested in the relationship as you, they’ll do all they can to co-operate.
For a more detailed guide, see my list of Things To Do When Friends Distance Themselves From You
Growing Apart Song
There have been many popular songs about growing apart over the years, such is the regularity of this situation in romantic relationships. A particularly poignant hit is ‘Angie’ by The Rolling Stones. This blog post from loveawake.com details 10 of the most famous songs on this topic.
Are We Growing Apart Quiz?
Are you still not sure what state your relationship is in? This quiz from ProProfs.com can help you know for sure if you’re growing apart from your spouse or partner.
Any More Questions?
Thanks for reading my ultimate guide on growing apart from your partner. I hope it helped you identify potential problems in your relationship and how to improve it.
If you have any questions on relationships drifting apart, feel free to create a comment in the box below.
I’d like to keep talking about this topic – and it would be great to hear from you.